Pryor, Michael 1957-

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PRYOR, Michael 1957-

PERSONAL:

Born April 23, 1957, in Swan Hill, Victoria, Australia; son of James (a builder) and Shirley (a finance manager; maiden name, Harris) Pryor; married Wendy Cracknell (a Web project manager), October 9, 1982; children: Celeste, Ruby. Ethnicity: "Australian." Education: University of Melbourne, B.A., 1978, diploma of education, 1979. Religion: Anglican. Hobbies and other interests: Sport, cooking, wine, multimedia.

ADDRESSES:

Home—45 Shiers St., Alphington, Victoria 3078, Australia. Agent—Cherry Weiner Literary Agency, 28 Kipling Way, Manalapan, NJ 07726-3711. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Teacher and writer. Banyule High School, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, English teacher, 1980-93; Viewbank College, Melbourne, instructor in English, 1993-97; Harcourt Education, Melbourne, electronic publisher, 1998—.

MEMBER:

Australian Society of Authors, Melbourne Football Club.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Shortlisted for Aurealis Awards four times; three Notable Book citations from Children's Book Council of Australia.

WRITINGS:

The Mask of Caliban, Hodder Headline Australia (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1996.

Talent, Hodder Headline Australia (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1997.

The House of Many Rooms ("Doorways" trilogy), Hodder Headline Australia (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1998.

The Book of Plans ("Doorways" trilogy), Hodder Headline Australia (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1998.

The Unmaker ("Doorways" trilogy), Hodder Headline Australia (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1999.

Cosmic Cook, Addison Wesley Longman (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Blackout, Hodder Headline Australia (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2000.

Air Time, Pearson Education (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Don't Make Vompa Unhappy, Barrie Publishing (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Dog Days, Pearson Education (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2002.

Bruno Trask and the Dark Lady's Jewels, Hodder Children's Books Australia (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2002.

Quentaris in Flames, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

Beneath Quentaris, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

Stones of Quentaris, Lothian Books (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2004.

Contributor of stories to Gadgets and Gizmos, edited by Paul Collins and Meredith Costain, Addison Wesley Longman (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999, and Alien Encounters, edited by Paul Collins and Meredith Costain, Pearson Education (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2000.

WORK IN PROGRESS:

Blaze of Glory, a fantasy novel for teens.

SIDELIGHTS:

Michael Pryor once commented: "I began writing because I'd been working as a teacher of English for a dozen years, telling young people how to write, what to write, when to write. One day it struck me that I didn't know if I could do what I was expecting all my students to do.

"That night, I sat down and started a story.

"Of course, I'd always thought I could be a writer—one day. I'd loved reading from an early age (something that has never left me), and I'd felt that I'd like to do the magic that writers were doing for me. One day.

"After sweating over that initial story, drafting and redrafting, crossing out and starting again, being assailed by doubts and second thoughts, I eventually finished. I sent it to a magazine publisher. They liked it, bought it, and published it.

"That was the beginning of my writing career.

"I'm a believer in the great tradition of storytelling. I believe the highest praise is when a reader says, 'I couldn't put your book down.' I want readers to turn pages, to be lost in the narrative, to be constantly wanting to know what's going to happen next.

"I write fantasy (and science fiction) because I believe that this is where the big questions are explored. Who are we? What are we doing here? Is there such a thing as destiny, and what about free will? What are the limits of imagination?

"I admire writers of the imagination. J. R. R. Tolkien, the master. Roger Zelazny. Paul Collins. Phillip Pullman. Robert Heinlein.

"My writing has appeared in Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, China, and the United States. Editions of my latest books are about to be published in Russia and Thailand. Several of my books have been made into 'Talking Books,' audio versions with professional actors narrating.

"I visit many schools, libraries, and conferences talking about my work and about writing and reading in general. Talking to large groups and running workshops is exciting and keeps me in touch with my readership."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia), January 10, 2004, Jason Nahrung, review of "Quentaris" series, p. M6.

ONLINE

Michael Pryor Web site,http://www.michaelpryor.com.au (March 15, 2004).